Rants Of Retail Part One: Let’s Get Some Shoes

I love shoes. I love shoes way too much and I’m not that picky. I love flats, boots, heels, wedges, sandals, sneakers… you get it, I really love shoes. I probably spend no more than 15 minutes deciding whether to buy a pair or not. I rarely even try them on. When I see a pair I love I get a feeling inside that most girls my age get when they see their boyfriend or husband. (But who’s really winning here, shoe’s don’t talk back and are always there for you) Anyway, what I’m try to get at is, shoe shopping should be fun and easy, but lately I feel like I’m the only one who sees it that way.

Stores, 100% of the time, have a shoe on display with the other sizes either in the back or somewhere near by. Where I work we stack a size run in order and have a random size on top, because well, that’s what works for us. I guess It’s a super hard concept to understand tho because daily I will get a customer who picks up the one shoe on top and says “This is not my size, you don’t have my size”. The stack of boxes under that shoe is just there for fun, you’re right.

I like to compare shoes to jeans, different brands are going to fit differently. You may be a size 7 in one brand and a 6 in another. No big deal, but apparently when I suggest to go up or down a size I also have snakes crawling out of my eyes, because that is the only explanation for the dirty looks and reactions I get.

Three. Hours. Later. Not one or two, three. That is the longest amount of time I have spent with a customer while they were deciding on one pair of shoes. I used to think the one hour customer was crazy, but that’s a daily thing lately. “That spot under my arch up by my little toe feels odd,” a comment like that doesn’t even surprise me anymore. So, why don’t you walk forward like a typical customer… No, no, no… we must also walk backwards, side to side, shuffle a bit, do the hokey pokey and turn it all around. Three. Long. Islands. That’s what I need.

Is there a word that just makes you cringe? One of my friends hates the word “moist”, so I say it a lot. Ha ha. The word that gives me the heebee-geebees lately is “bunion”. You would have a problem with it too if you heard it at least 20 times a day.

“Does this shoe come in sizes?” I’m not kidding, I’ve gotten that question more than once.

This last one is hard for me to write, because I still don’t believe it actually happened. But, it has… not once… but twice. “I like to buy my shoes a size bigger than needed because I forget to clip my toe nails.” I apologize to anyone who was eating while reading that or planning on eating anytime in the future.

967deb8fd7145328b2456209065c514cI was blessed with an easy going personality, way too much patience, and a love for cheap wine. Those three things keep me sane, loving my job, and loving what I do.

Rants of Retail- Introduction

As many of you are aware I am one of the very few in the world who genuinely love working in retail. I enjoy it so much that I am making a career out of it, but that’s a blog post for another day. For the past three summers I have been fortunate enough to manage the best women’s boutique around, GG My Love, in Chautauqua Institution. I love everything about my job; my boss, co-workers, the location, opportunities, and even the customers.

Whenever someone walks into the store I treat him or her as if I’m shopping with my best friend, minus the part about talking about guys and deciding what bar to go to later. Anyway, I don’t do it just to make a sale. I do what I do because I love making other women feel empowered and beautiful, even getting some ladies to step out of their comfort zones. My typical customer- “lake mom”, mid forties, married, complains about shopping, but has an endless cash flow (so I vicariously live through her husbands charge cards and do my thing). Complain about shopping? Apparently it’s a thing. I see more and more women each year who hate shopping and it usually revolves around one of two things. One, they know nothing about fashion and just wear designer athleisure wear. Or two, they are way too critical of their bodies. That’s where I come in. Just like people, clothing comes in all different shapes and sizes and I will never let a customer leave feeling down about their body just because they don’t look how society tells them they should.

Okay, I’m going off topic, so back to this introduction. It takes a special person to love working with people in general, especially in Chautauqua. What is Chautauqua you ask? Well, according to the all knowing Wikipedia.com…

“The Chautauqua Institution is a non-profit adult education center and summer resort located on 750 acres (3 km²) in Chautauqua, New York, 17 miles (27 km) northwest of Jamestown in the western part of New York State. The Chautauqua Institution Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was further designated a National Historic Landmark.”

According to the user submitted, but highly accurate Urbandictionary.com, Chautauqua is…

“An over hyped relic of the past that seems to live on its own self importance. Mainly due to the fact that the rich and upper-middle-class overextended (wanna be rich) have made massive real-estate investments. Located in Chautauqua, NY… Chautauqua is a place where rich to upper middle class suburbanites from Ohio, NY, Pennsylvania, … congregate during the Summer to put on a show that they are “cultured” and attempt to be somehow relevant. All the while their alcoholic neglected children drink their asses off and cavort with each other all Summer (read: massive party). The whole time saying that they will never be like their parents, and then returning to Chautauqua in their mid-life to repeat the same process.”

So there’s that.

I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people in the world, and the worst! I have been invited to vineyards in Napa Valley, lunches with Dean’s of universities, get to hear love stories from widowed ninety year old women, and have to decline to get set up with customer’s sons almost daily. With the same smile on my face, I get called unintelligent, have merchandise thrown at me, get ignored, I hear the word ‘bunion’ way too many times in one day, and people are just down right mean to me. But, in the words of a powerful public figure,

taylor-swift-shake-it-off“And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off”

All of my jaw dropping experiences that no one believes me about are going to now be blogged about and called, “Rants of Retail”.